I haven't told much of my infertility story here on my blog. It's a LONG story 8 years total, but here are the highlights.
2004- Said bye-bye to birth control 2008- Adoption of my Amazing Little Boy! 2009- Finally diagnosed with PCOS 2010- SURPRISE I am Pregnant :-)...... Sadly ended in miscarriage 2010-2011- Fertility Treatments including 8 rounds of Clomid and 2 IUIs 2010- Current- Taking Metformin to help regulate cycles, much more regular than the past
You can fill in all the gaps with a whole lot of hoping, wishing, and praying, as well as, a ton of disappointing cycles ending with AF (aunt flow).
As you can see it's been a long journey. I often divide it in my mind as the time before the birth of my son, and the time after. I guess my life in general has that divide, the time before I was a Mom and the time since. My son has enriched our lives in ways that I can not begin to describe. He is the most amazing little man, and hands down the greatest blessing in my life. He redefines the entire purpose of my life, and brings me so much joy. He changed my marriage, made my husband a Father, and helps me find new reasons to fall in love with his Dad all over again every day. To say my son was worth the wait would be a HUGE understatement. If I had to endure those 4 years of infertility and heartache again, I would easily do it again.
I thought having a child would make accepting infertility easier, and in some ways it has. I know the joy of being a mother, and have him there to hug and love. When I had my miscarriage, he was there to comfort me and cheer me up. His smile is contagious and just having him makes it hard to ever feel bad for myself.
But now that he has gotten older, he has openly expressed his wish to have siblings. He reminds me regularly that he doesn't "have a baby", and that he wants to be a big brother. It is so sweet to think that he wants a sibling, but it also breaks my heart. I feel so bad that I can't make his wish come true as easily as he would like. I am terrified that I might never be able to make it happen. It was one thing dealing with my infertility and disappointment as it related to me and my husband, but to see it effect my son is so much harder.
So here my biological clock is ticking away. We agreed to keep trying to expand our family till my husband was 34, just 2 more years to go. So now I hope for a miracle, and pray that it will happen, not just for me, but for my husband, my son, and all of our family members who have been waiting on another little bundle.
What's the hold up, you might wonder? Money.... It's the sad truth. We work good jobs, own a home, have medical insurance, and raise a beautiful little boy. But our insurance covers NOTHING for infertility! That's right Zero despite the fact that I have a diagnosed medical condition. And shockingly most insurance companies in the US do not provide coverage. Furthermore, adoption is expensive. The average domestic infant adoption is $20,000. That's a lot of money! Seriously how many parents have 20k sitting somewhere that they can spend without a financial return on that investment.
So what is our plan? We are trying to save up $25,000 over the next year and a half. We would like to enter the shared risk program at our fertility clinic. We get up to 4 cycles of IVF and if we don't bring home a baby all of our money is refunded! We would then proceed with adoption, and would have all the money we would need to do so. It's going to be a difficult task. We are trying to come up with every creative and possible way. We are pinching pennies and praying. We are thinking about doing fundraisers. I am rolling out new items in my 2 etsy shops all the time. Let's just hope that the IVF/Adoption Fund grows faster then the sand runs out of my biological clock.
If you are trying to raise funds for adoption or IVF what have you done?
Every year I say that I am going to beat the rush and start shopping for Christmas early and every year I wait till the last minute. Well I am proud to announce I finally started my Christmas shopping early this year. So what inspired the change? ETSY! There are so many Christmas in July specials going on all over Etsy right now for all types of products. I love shopping etsy especially for gifts. I recently did Mother and Father's Day shopping etsy style and got rave reviews from my parents and in-laws. The gifts are so unique and most can be personalized!
So this July I am shopping Etsy and saving money and time. I am so excited that I have finally started Christmas shopping early for once. I have purchased 2 gifts so far. I have a couple "possible" gifts in the works. Why just possible? Well the pcfteam on etsy is holding a silent auction. I made a few bids for items and I am really hoping to win and scratch a few more things off of my list. Check the auction out at the pcfteams blog http:// pcfteam.blogspot.com and check out the Christmas in July Auction. They will have other events this month too!
So don't miss out on all the great deals this July. It's never too early to start shopping for the most wonderful time of the year!
PCF Team on Etsy is having a great event for May! It is called the May Flowers Scavenger Hunt! This hunt will run exactly the way the April Flip Flop hunt was ran; so if you joined in on all the fun of that one, you are one step ahead of the competition….woohoo! There will be 33 shops, and all will have a hidden picture that you will have to "hunt" through their shop items for! Each shop has donated a prize worth at least a $10 value; that is a total of $330 plus in prizes...woohoo!!! There will be a total of 7 prize packs given out (winners will be chosen at random by random.org, based upon number of entries correct and complete entries we have)...each prize pack will consist of 5 prizes...so each winner will get a prize pack of at least an incredible $50 value…how about that? The contest will begin at 9:00 EST on May 21st, and will run until midnight on June 4th! ***** all entries and PCF shop purchases must be submitted by midnight June 4th...and NO entries will be accepted after this time*** ********************HOW TO ENTER******************* Go to:CiaraCompanyBowtique.etsy.comand look for the listing that says “Starting Point.” This will give you all the details..and the first shop on your hunting adventure! (✿◠‿◠) This is the starting point for this event!!! From here, you will then follow the links to the next shop on the scavenger hunt list! Every time you find the hidden picture, that item description will give you a link to the next shop. As you go through the shops, make a list of all shops, in the order you are given them. At the very last shop, you will be given an email address; you will send the completed list to this address. If anything is incorrect, you will be notified, and given a chance to re-do the hunt to get it all right! :) ***********WANT MORE CHANCES TO WIN? READ ON!!!************** Everyone who sends a complete shop list, in the correct order, will receive one entry to win a prize pack. If you "FAVE" the shops as you go through (you have to fave every single shop...this means having an Etsy account, and adding each one of the 40 shops to your "favorite shops" list…simply click on the tab to the left that says ♥add to favorites), then you get another entry. If you "FAVE" one item from each shop as you go through (again, you have to fave an item from every single shop...to do this...when you have a single item from a shop pulled up…look to the right, and click the ♥icon that says "favorite"), then you will get a third entry. If you BLOG about the team event, and send Nichole (info above) a link to the blog post, you will get 5 extra entries! So, you have the opportunity to receive a total of 8 entries to win a prize pack in total! ****SUPER DUPER PRIZE PACK DETAILS-$330 VALUE AT MINIMUM***** In addition, all shops are donating another prize...all 33 of these prizes will be combined into one HUGE prize pack. This pack will be valued at a minimum of $330!!! The winner of this super duper prize pack, will be the drawn out of entries from shopping with PCF Team shops during this event. Each dollar spent at a PCF Team shop during this event will earn you one entry...each dollar spent at one of the 33 shops on the hunt list, will earn you 2 entries. The more you shop, and the more you shop with the 33 shops on the list, the more chances you have to win! Please send transaction links of all purchases to Nichole at firstname.lastname@example.org...thanks! Purchases not submitted will not be counted! I cannot calculate your entries, if you do not send me purchases...I need transaction links and dollar amounts for each purchase, and the shop name you purchased from. Winners will be chosen by June 11th:) They will be announced on Nichole's blog at:ciaraandcompanybowtique.blogspot.com/, on the PCF Team blog at: http://pcfteam.blogspot.ca/2012/03/pcf-team-spring-promotion-event.html , on other member's blogs, on the PCF Team Etsy Group: www.etsy.com/teams/10036/promoting-creative-friends, and on the PCF Team Facebook page, and you will also be emailed for shipping information if you are a winner! All annnouncements and emails for shipping info, will be sent out by the 11th of June; it takes a great deal of time to go through all of the faves, emails, purchases, and so on, and I want to make sure every entry that should be given is given. So, I take this very seriously, and take my time, to ensure everyone gets as many entries as the should! :)
You can join us on Facebook to keep up to date on this event, plus all of our ever-so-cool upcoming events...we always have something in the works! :) Our PCF Team Facebook page can be located at:https://www.facebook.com/#!/pcfteam
PS...a heads up..our next scavenger hunt will begin on July 21st..and we plan on holding another in September, November, and December...so get your Christmas shopping hats ready, and join us for spectacular handmade items, and some awesome deals! ♥♥♥ If you love this event, let us know...we are thinking of doing them often...let us know you want us to! :)
Yet another AMAZING shop on esty that features infertility related merchandise. Shades of Awarness is a beautiful shop that offers products for a variety of illnesses and causes. You can find pieces that speak to most anyone's life with over 300 products featured. Her products are beautiful and reasonably priced. This shop is a must visit at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShadesofAwareness
**What inspired you to start your etsy shop? I opened my Etsy shop after I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme in July 2010, at age 34. I had been sick for over 3 years, I went to every specialist you could imagine, no one knew what was wrong with me. When I was finally diagnosed, I wanted a bracelet to wear. I thought that somehow it would make me feel better, like ‘look at me, I know what's wrong with me...FINALLY!’ When I didn't find any that I really liked, I figured I would make myself one. That's when 'Shades of Awareness' was born. My goal is to let people know that they are not alone!
**How long has your shop been open? I opened my Etsy shop in November of 2010
**What types of products do you offer? We have a big selection: Bookmarks, Sterling Necklaces, One Of A Kind Resin pendants, Wine Glass Charms, Charm Bracelets, Wire-Wrapped Bracelets, Pandora-Style Charms and Pendants, Inspirational Bracelets, Gemstone Bracelets, and Earrings. All in every Awareness color. Custom pieces are always welcome!
**How do you come up with the designs for your pieces? Trial and error!
**What helps keep you motivated to make new products? I have become an Awareness Activist, I want to raise awareness for everyone. I love being able to make a difference in other's lives, no matter how big or small.
**What inspires you creatively? I have become an Awareness Activist, I want to raise awareness for everyone. I love being able to make a difference in other's lives, no matter how big or small.
**What do you enjoy most about etsy? I love Etsy, everything is so unique. It is exactly what I need, it hits a big audience. People who shop on Etsy want quality and something different.
**Why did you decided to make infertility related items? I make jewelry for every Awareness. Making Infertility Awareness jewelry is special to me, because I know it touches peoples hearts. Everyone's story is different and it means a lot to me that they share that with me.
**What advice could you give to someone who is facing infertility? Don't give up! Do what you feel is right, not everyone around you!
**Any advice for loved ones of someone who is struggling with infertility? Be patient and understanding. This is a huge issue, not only emotionally, but physically.
**One thing you should never say to someone facing infertility? Why don't you just adopt!!
Some of the beautiful infertility pieces featured in this shop:
Hey there everyone! Do you want to win some amazing prizes? If so, keep reading..we have over $800 in prizes during this event...8 prize packs will be awarded to hunters at a value of at least $50 each, and 1 super duper prize pack with prizes from all 37 shops in the hunt will be given to the person who spends the most money at PCF team shops during this week-long event; this is valued at over $400! Read on for details........
The PCF Team on Etsy is having a great event for April! It is called the Spring Tracks Flip Flop Scavenger Hunt! There will be 37 shops, and all will have a hidden picture that you will have to "hunt" through their shop items for (HINT- the picture is the image in this listing)! Each shop has donated a prize worth at least a $10 value; that is a total of $400 plus in prizes...woohoo!!! There will be a total of 8 prize packs given out (winners will be chosen at random, based upon number of entries correct and complete entries we have)...each prize pack will consist of 5 prizes..so each winner will get a prize pack of at least an incredible $50 value..how about that? The contest will begin at 7:00 EST on April 23rd, and will run til midnight May 3rd: all entries and PC shop purchases must be submitted by midnight May 3rd...and no entries will be accepted after this time.
Here is a continuation of the series on my interview with amazing etsy shops that feature infertility related products. I have really enjoyed getting to hear of the stories behind the shops. I think that's one of the really interesting things about etsy, you get to meet the people behind the products you buy. I am very thankful that these shop owners have been willing to so openly discuss infertility and to share their stories. I always find that I have so much in common with these women. I see my story mirrored in theirs. Today's special guest is the The Fertile Garden. Check out this awesome shop HERE
What inspired you to start your etsy shop? My personal journey with infertility!
How long has your shop been open? Since April 2010. What types of products do you offer? Fertility bracelets, necklaces, relaxation aids such as sage smudge sticks, meditation stones and note cards and prints of my original paintings.
How do you come up with the designs for your pieces? For my jewelry, the first step is researching which gemstones help which conditions. I play around with the beads until I like how it looks together. For my original artwork, it all comes from within. I created much of that art immediately after some acupuncture sessions I had done. It was like art therapy for me, I got my emotions out in my artwork.
What helps keep you motivated to make new products? Purchasing new gemstones...or for a painting, just a rush of creativity!
What inspires you creatively? Hearing from people who need some positive influence in their lives and hoping that I can help them. Also my daughters, even when I have a rough day, I think about how lucky we are to have them :)
What do you enjoy most about etsy? I love what I do, and being able to work from home and do something I enjoy. I love when I get a nice message from a customer who has had success! I also think it is so nice when someone purchases for a friend as a surprise gift. That makes me smile.
Why did you decided to make infertility related items? I made a bracelet for myself! It helped me feel better and keep positive. Whenever I was stressed, I would reach down and play with my bracelet. I modeled the Butterfly bracelet after my own original! I wore it up until I had my girls and I still have it :)
What advice could you give to someone who is facing infertility? My natural tendency was to hold everything in at first. This was not healthy. Find a friend to talk to, or a creative outlet, etc. You need to get your frustrations out, or you will feel eaten alive by your negativity. I know that is easier said then done, but it does help. There were times that I just wanted to curl up in a ball and shut everyone out.
Any advice for loved ones of someone who is struggling with infertility? Offer to listen to them vent...they will appreciate it!
One thing you should never say to someone facing infertility? "Relax, and it will happen"... or "just adopt and you will get pregnant"! GRRRRRR.....
Any other things you would like to share about etsy, your shop, or infertility? I love what I do! My shop has brought me more joy then any job I have ever had (I am a former graphic designer) Please do not hesitate to message me with any questions, or to chat! :)
Some awesome products from The Fertile Garden Each of these products is fertility related. Learn more about them HERE:
The photos below are featured individually on pendants. I love them!
Below is a MALE fertility bracelet. This is the first time that I have seen one like this. I believe I could get my husband to wear this one :-)!
Please be sure to visit The Fertile Garden on etsy. There are so many unique products offered there.